A Study of Knots & Links derived from Doubly Periodic Knitted Fabric Patterns

Geometry Topology Student Seminar
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 2:00pm for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 006
Shashank Markande – Georgia Tech
Agniva Roy

The emergent shape of a knitted fabric is highly sensitive to the underlying stitch pattern. Here, by a stitch pattern we mean a periodic array of symbols encoding a set of rules or instructions performed to produce a swatch or a piece of fabric. So, it is crucial to understand what exactly these instructions mean in terms of mechanical moves performed using a yarn (a smooth piece of string) and a set of knitting needles (oriented sticks). Motivated by the fact that locally every knitting move results in a slip knot, we use tools from topology to model the set of all doubly periodic stitch patterns, knittable & non-knittable, as knots & links in a three manifold. Specifically, we define a map from the set of doubly-periodic stitch patterns to the set of links in S^3 and use link invariants such as the linking number, multivariable Alexander polynomial etc. to characterize them. We focus on such links derived from knitted stitch patterns in an attempt to tackle the question: whether or not a given stitch pattern can be realized through knitting.